Epiphany Rae

So hi there. This is going to be another post about sleep. Just wanted to warn you to stop reading now because they can be completely and utterly boring and so the fucking same all the time, so come back tomorrow if you want something a little more interesting K?

Oh you are interested hey? Gluten for punishment and all that? Me too. Clearly you will see that for yourself.
So, two weeks ago I kind of had an epiphany with Daisy and her sleep. As you would know, she is not a great sleeper. This wasn’t always the case – she was great to about 6 months, then regressed when we moved house and I went back to work and added THAT guilt into the equation, and then things started to go really bad from about 18 months old. I know exactly when it turned the corner from not great to reeeealy bad – we were away in the Blue Mountains for a week when she was 18 months old (which upon reflection ohmygod have I not been sleeping well for 18 freaking months?! Holy Hell!). I (then when things were good) read her a book, kissed her and put her into bed and then shut the door. And that was it. Ha! SIMPLE! Then we came home and for some inexplicable reason when I attempted to do the same thing upon our return it was suddenly not acceptable. For her. Daisy says no. And for some even stranger reason, I went, Oh OK. Let me help you. Poor you. SILLY, STOOPID, CRAZY, MENTAL WOMAN! Bedtime went downhill from there. Bedtime turned into a show – I was on the floor of her room, trying to sneak out on hands and knees until her radar picked it up and she instantly woke and then we would start all. over. again. And this could happen 3 or 4 times. Then we tried control crying which she started to do vomiting on cue for. Which I was NOT a fan of and cope honestly NOT cope with. Then we had me sitting in a chair in her room away from her waiting for her to go to sleep. She would wake in the night, I would give her milk when she shouldn’t have been having it. It was like an abusive relationship when you do all the wrong things and you just can’t change things because both of you are so exhausted and you can’t see the forest from the trees. Or something. Let’s just say I knew I was doing the wrong things but it was all I could cope with at the time and she had me SO wrapped around her finger I was like a junkie doing whatever my dealer told me to do. Working guilt, daycare guilt, over tried guilt made me do things that just DID NOT make sense. Stoopid me.
So things were a little better. I still have to stay with her while she went to sleep but this only took 5-10 mins at the most. The wake ups in the nights were maybe only once or twice and most of time (particularly since we had Harper) she ended up in bed with us because everyone was just so fucking tired. All of us. And it was easy and all we could do and you know what? That was OK. I was really OK with that. I am CERTAIN that every parent I know has had bad habits with kids and sleep whether it’s letting them hop into bed with them from 4am (because hey that’s not really the night, more so the morning isn’t it?) and if you don’t have any problems then I call your bullshit because you are LYING.
Then 2 weeks ago (Friday night) I picked up a book on my bedside table that I picked up through Amazon months ago that I never really read properly. I don’t know what made me pick it up – it picked me up I think – and it opened up on sleep problems. So I started to read it and went “yes, oh yes, shit. Yes. AHA!” and it was like a light bulb going off in my head.
This.
Is.
BULLSHIT.
What am I doing? Am I mad? Rob and I are intelligent people (with degrees under our belts) and we are being completely walked over by a someone who is 2. 2!!!! And that night when Daisy woke at 12 and wanted something I finally called her on her bullshit requests. Ah….no. GO back to sleep. We had a 4 hour melt down and I just didn’t care. I didn’t give a shit abiout the neighbours who are RIGHT there – they have parties so they can PISS OFF. She was shocked – mortified that I was not listening to her. She went through an outrageous list of demands including BREAKFAST at 3.30am. And I stayed calm and consistent. No. Go back to sleep. And eventually she did. Sure it was 4 hours later, but she went back to sleep. The next night things were bad because she was overtired and had night terrors, but she got the same answer from me. No. I was drunk on my power! Tony Danza was not the boss – I WAS!
Now. I am not going to tell you that I have a new child that sleeps through the night for 12 hours. And I KNOW that because I have written this down for the world to see that things will all turn to shit just to spite me. But. Buuuuuuut….things have been better. She has been having sleeps in the day – asking to go to bed in fact – and is less over tired. She hasn’t been waking as much – if at all – and hasn’t been into our bed ONCE in two weeks. This is HUGE for us. HUGE! If she wakes and asks for something she gets the same answer. No. And I guess is now less likely to wake up now because she gets it. She comments on her sleep “I’m doing really well with my sleep Mum” yes, she actually says this. We have a chart (those god forsaken sticker charts) that is working towards some Tinkerbell shoes she spotted in the Toy Shop. And it’s kind of working.
In any case I am feeling better about things. I feel in control for the first time in 18 months. 18! She is not as exhausted and just seems to have tantrums because she is almost 3 and not almost 3 AND over tired. I really want to sort this out and consistently nail it for a month to try and break down these ingrained habits if it kills me. And you know what? I think that she has sort of gone “Oh so she has finally worked it out. Bugger. Good while it lasted”. I just hope I can keep this up and stay all Tony Danza over my kids for the rest of the time…with sleep anyway because by God it’s soooooooooooo good when you get it.

Comments

  1. Yay! So happy for you. They certainly know how to push your buttons, don’t they. So glad to hear things are going better for you.

  2. Oh Corinne….what do they say about writing things down? I had this written and scheduled last night and then had a SHOCKER last night.Absolute SHOCKER. Feel like I have gone back to square one. Kids huh?!

  3. Don’t you love the lightbulb moment when you realise that things can be different? Hope things have changed for the better- stick to your guns, it’s good practice for when she’s 16 and wants to sleep over at her boyfriends house :P

  4. There’s always a few steps back after you move forward. Let’s face it, in Daisy’s opinion she’s got a lot to lose from this situation so she’ll try to milk it for all it’s worth. You’re onto it though. Ignore the neighbours and just stand your ground. A lack of sleep is a killer and the one thing that drives me insane. We had a few nights of constant putting back to bed when my gal was young, but now she’s what I’d consider a happy sleeper. Thank god as I become the epitome of tired and cranky! Stay strong and think of the long-term rewards xxx

  5. Don’t I know it! After I wrote my epic sleep posts, my good sleepers went crap again! I couldn’t believe it and was cursing myself. They got back on track after a week or so, though we still struggle with good and bad nights.
    Keeping walking the path you’ve started on, I’m sure she’ll get the picture soon enough. I’ve often heard that night 3 or 4 will be the worst after you’ve implemented change.
    Take care! x

  6. Woo hoo – congratulations on your breakthrough! Sorry to hear last night wasn’t so good, but perseverence is the key. Good luck with the rest of your journey towards fabulous nights of sleep!

  7. Ugh, four hours! Wow, she is a tough girl.

    I used to say the same thing about people who would swear their 2 week old slept through the night and I’d totally call bullshit on them. People say their kids sleep great, but then you start digging and there is always some problem.

    We had problems with Gabe until he was 2 and we moved him to a big boy bed and then I have NO IDEA what happened, but I swear, he just started sleeping through the night and splendidly without any help from me.

    I have seen that slippery slope, though, and I’ll find myself giving “one more kiss” or “just one sip of water or milk” and after 2 nights I’ll nip it in the bud again because they are RELENTLESS. One thing turns into 2 things turns into 79 things and next thing you know you are doing cartwheels and reading 19 books a night.

    Ahhh kids, what a pleasure. God bless ‘em.

  8. Oh I am so happy I have found your blog – you are very funny lady! We had the same thing with our second child. I swear to god we didn’t sleep for two freaking years. What the fuck. Our first was a breeze. She ate, she slept and I guess we just had it nailed. Then S came along and threw us. Throw into the mix a an older sister who started to get night terrors, so just after we’d get S to sleep, she would wake up screaming and unreachable. I am not quite sure how we didn’t kill each other back then. I got onto a video (at the time) called “It’s time to sleep”. It was all common sense, but I clearly had lost mine and nearly immediately, he came good, because we suddenly had the confidence to stand up to the toddler. Can so relate x

  9. Love this. I have two little ones and have been through most of the same emotions. I rarely use the f-word and my husband knows that it is bad when I can’t stop saying it. So I got a giggle out of all the moments where I saw it in the post. I know that I am a random stranger, but it makes me feel good to know there are others out there, best of luck and good sleep to you.

Speak Your Mind

*